Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Mystery of Table Mountain

By William Post
AuthorHouse, March 2010

When young college man, James Raymond, is framed for murder by his uncle, aunt and her brother, he heads west to elude lawmen. It is here he sees the inaccessible Table Mountain and is taken with its beauty and security. Through his ingenuity James finds a way to the top of the mountain and discovers a paradise.

The day after he discovers access to the mountain top he manages to rescue a young woman from Indians and shares his “Garden of Eden” with her in a clandestine relationship.

This book is billed as an action packed western and that is a comment that could be argued with. Yes the book does contain action of the kind a reader of westerns would expect, range war, Indian attacks, a jailbreak and the struggle to stay alive through heavy snow. But this all takes part in the last third of the book and most of the battles are over quickly and mainly told in retrospect rather than as they are happening.

What the book is, to me anyway, is a romance. During James’ travels he meets a number of beautiful women, all of whom seem to fall in love with him, and this book is really about his relationships with them.

William Post wrote this story in the first person and his prose is easy to read. He sure packs a lot into the 239 pages of this novel in which the years pass rapidly. Having so much in the book makes for an extremely fast paced read. In fact certain elements of the storyline would prove an entire book plot for other authors, such as the range war, or the final chapter that sees the downfall of the man who framed James for murder.

The book also contains a strong religious overtone.

The Mystery of Table Mountain is the first in a trilogy, the following books being The Miracle and A Call to Duty in which the lives of many of the characters introduced here are continued. Having said that this book is a self-contained story and doesn’t leave any story threads hanging at its conclusion.

Overall the book is a satisfying read; just don’t expect a tough western of the type I usually review here.

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